A Notwestminster 2020 workshop by Joe Mitchell & Kirklees Youth Council
What is local civic education? How does it work – or how should it work? Where might it happen? And who should be taking part?
We all need to know how local democracy works so that we can be actively involved. But what’s the current level of public understanding of local government and democracy?
Civic education is more than citizenship education in schools – it’s an approach to lifelong learning about all aspects of local democracy and civic life. What work is already being done in this area? What could be done to improve the situation?
You’ll notice that we have lots of questions for you. In this workshop, we’ll try to find some answers!
We will bring some examples about what we already know and we’ll ask participants to share any information you have about what kinds of activities already exist. We hope this will give us some ideas for new approaches we could take. We might also be a bit critical about the idea of civic education and challenge the term itself. Please come along to be part of the conversation.
About the workshop hosts
Joe believes in the power of online participation to make democracy better – hence helping to found Democracy Club. He previously worked at Purpose, one of the world’s leading online organising consultancies, on projects relating to global health and the environment. He also has a range of experience across the public and third sectors, including in marketing and communication for the UK Government, and advocacy and research for NGOs such as Transparency International and Global Witness. Along the way he picked up several degrees in law, development and governance.
Kirklees Youth Council
Our youth council helps children and young people in Kirklees to learn about local democracy, to gain skills and confidence, to become active citizens, and to have a voice. We have recently supported a group of Young Commissioners to gather evidence and make recommendations for the future. Over 1,700 children and young people in Kirklees have talked to us about having a voice, getting involved in community life, and how we can help them to grow the skills, confidence and connections that they want, in the way that they want. Find us at: Growing a stronger youth council & Democracy Friendly Schools
How to get involved
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Big hearts and open minds
Our kind of democracy is human-scale. When we talk about local democracy, we mean the democracy that happens where we are, in our neighbourhoods and the places that we know. It is the democracy that we live and breathe, each and every day. It only lives when we have our hearts in it, and it only grows when we are open to thinking and doing in different ways.
So if you’re open to our local democracy being what we want it to be, and if you’re up for the challenge of doing something to help make it happen, please join us at Notwestminster.